Kiosk the Right Medicine for Busy Consumers
By George Anderson
Fill ‘er up is about to take on a whole new meaning.
A Giant Food store in Reston, Virginia is testing a self-service kiosk that will enable registered consumers to obtain refills on their prescription medicines.
Brad Dayton, director of pharmacy systems for Giant Food equates the kiosk to Hertz’s #1 Club Gold service.
“When you rent a car under that program,” he told Progressive Grocer magazine, “it’s ready for you with your name flashing on a board. You just pick it up and go, and you’re in and out in five minutes. From a pharmacy perspective, nobody’s offering this in the area.”
The kiosks called the ScriptCenter are made by Asteres, Inc. out of San Diego. The units require a one-time customer registration process where shoppers are given a username and password for future use.
Pharmacists deposit prescription med refills into the machine as requested and customers retrieve them at their convenience. The kiosks could be configured to run 24/7 if desired.
“It’s a way to extend the pharmacy’s hours of service,” said Mr. Dayton. “The grocery store is open a few more hours than the pharmacy. The kiosk gives refill patients a couple more hours in the evening and one more hour in the morning to pick up their medication. Customers who are hurried on the way to work can still get their prescriptions without the pharmacist being there.”
The kiosk is quite large so stores considering an installation would need space. The unit being tested in the Giant Food store is six feet wide and more than six and a half feet tall, according to the Progressive Grocer report. It weighs 1,400 pounds and is bolted to the floor.
“It’s very secure — it would be next to impossible to break into the unit without creating a very large commotion,” said Mr. Dayton. “It has an ATM-like camera on it, so we’re able to see who’s using the machine, in case someone tries to access a prescription illegally.”
Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the news Giant Food is testing a kiosk that could give consumers 24/7 access to their prescription medicine
refills? How will this and other kiosk technology reshape the retail store environment in the years to come? –
George Anderson – Moderator